Midnight Sun, Volcanoes, Ice Ages and More: Iceland’s Crazy Secret Solstice Festival

Usually a killer lineup is enough to draw in festival crowds, but sometimes unique features can lend that extra edge. Speaking of which, Iceland’s Secret Solstice Festival has the perfect combination of interesting draws. Sure there’s great headliners like Foo Fighters and The Prodigy, but it’s the parties inside glaciers, shows inside lava tunnels, and sun that never sets that really makes Reykjavik a crazy festival destination. Not quite your typical summer festival, right?

The Secret Solstice Festival really is a unique festival experience. In their fourth year, it takes place during the summer solstice, from June 15 to 18. That’s the time of year that indicates harvest season is coming, as days get longer and weather gets warmer. But that also means constant sunlight for the north – the sun never setting played a huge role in Norse mythology, and is what Iceland’s premier festival capitalizes on.

Secret Solstice boasts an incredible genre-spanning lineup that would easily be enough of a draw on its own. Foo Fighters and The Prodigy as previously mentioned, hip-hop icons like Rick Ross and Big Sean, upcoming hits like Anderson .Paak and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and a wealth of American, European, and Icelandic rock bands, punk groups, DJs, and artists round out a killer offering. But of course, that’s not all.

The festival also plans several side events every year – exclusive excursions that are available separately from the main festival, but are cool enough to make the trip worth it. For example, the 2017 festival introduces the new Lava Tunnel event. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a limited number of guests are brought out to a subterranean cave system carved out by ancient Icelandic lava flows…and then they enjoy a show in them. The ticket includes bussing, drinks, a guided tour, and an acoustic set by a surprise guest in the geologic phenomenon. Or if you’re feeling something a bit cooler, there’s also Into The Glacier – a dance party inside the second-largest ice glacier in Europe. The three shows include DJs and an acoustic set, again all surprise guests, with a tour and drink tickets included. Because why the hell would you not want to party for hours while surrounded by ice?!

Festival passes for Secret Solstice 2017 are available now for about $280 CAD. There are also a variety of packages available including hotel or camping accommodations, flights, Icelandic tourism deals, and much more. One word of warning, though: Iceland’s geographic isolation really drives up local prices, and the conversion rate from krona to euros to dollars can be killer. If you’re going to check out this sweet fest, make sure to plan your finances wisely!

Full Lineup:

  • FOO FIGHTERS
  • THE PRODIGY
  • RICK ROSS
  • BIG SEAN
  • CHAKA KHAN
  • RICHARD ASHCROFT
  • ANDERSON .PAAK & THE FREE NATIONALS
  • YOUNG M.A
  • RHYE
  • SETH TROXLER
  • UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
  • AB-SOUL
  • PHAROAHE MONCH
  • ROOTS MANUVA
  • FOREIGN BEGGARS
  • KERRI CHANDLER
  • DUBFIRE
  • DUSKY
  • ATA KAK
  • YOUNGR
  • HÖGNI
  • KIASMOS
  • AGENT FRESCO
  • XXX ROTTWEILER
  • GÍSLI PÁLMI
  • SSSÓL
  • ÚLFUR ÚLFUR
  • SOUL CLAP
  • JOHN ACQUAVIVA
  • WOLF + LAMB
  • THE BLACK MADONNA
  • THE VINTAGE CARAVAN
  • EXOS
  • DAÐI FREYR
  • AMABADAMA
  • EMMSJÉ GAUTI
  • THUGFUCKER
  • LANE 8
  • TANIA VULCANO
  • LEFT BRAIN
  • ARTWORK
  • PRINCESS NOKIA
  • TAY GRIN
  • SAMANTHA GIBB & CO
  • MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM
  • DROOG
  • YOTTO
  • SHADED
  • CICI CAVANAGH
  • CUBICOLOR
  • OCEAN WISDOM
  • NOVELIST
  • CYMANDE
  • RAGGA GRÖNDAL
  • JAM BAXTER
  • NICK MONACO
  • STURLA ATLAS
  • SOFFÍA BJÖRG
  • DJ RD
  • DAVE
  • NITIN
  • KLOSE ONE
  • BENSOL
  • DJ FINGAZ
  • VAGINABOYS
  • HERRA HNETUSMJÖR
  • KIRIYAMA FAMILY
  • SHADES OF REYKJAVIK
  • TINY
  • GKR
  • ARON CAN
  • JIMMY MAHERAS
  • GLACIER MAFIA
  • DJ SAMMY B-SIDE
  • ÞÓRUNN ANTONÍA
  • LORD PUSSWHIP
  • RIX
  • KRYSKO & GREG LORD
  • KINDA SUPER DISCO
  • FITNESS
  • ALEXANDER JARL
  • BORG
  • LIVIA
  • KIMOU
  • HÓRMÓNAR
  • VAR
  • AUÐUR
  • FRÆBBBLARNIR
  • VALBY BRÆÐUR
  • TEITUR MAGNÚSSON
  • VÉDIS HERVÖR
  • FRENCH TOAST
  • HILDUR
  • KSF
  • ALVIA ISLANDIA
  • LANDABOI$
  • ÁSA
  • BIRNIR
  • KÁ – AKÁ
  • DILLALUDE
  • BOOTLEGS
  • KRISTMUNDUR AXEL
  • SINCE WHEN
  • SXSXSX
  • TAPPI TÍKARRASS
  • CYBER
  • DJ FRÍMANN
  • JOAGOPELLI
  • FOX TRAIN SAFARI
  • KILO
  • CAPTAIN SYRUP
  • SMJÖRVI & HRNNR
  • HARRIMANNN
  • XIPHI
  • CASANOVA
  • MARTEINN
  • KRBEAR
  • SKRATTAR
  • MOGESEN
  • ROB SHIELDS
  • AFK
  • PAUNKHOLM
  • SEINT
  • ARKIR
  • BEGGI SMÁRI
  • DANNI DELUXE
  • MÆLGINN BIG BAND
  • BLACK POX
  • HOLY HRAFN
  • ANDARTAK
  • M E G E N
  • DJ SNORRI ÁSTRÁÐS

Mathew Kahansky

Once upon a time, Mat studied journalism. That's how he became Alan's one-time intern and current-time contributor, and the rest is ongoing history - get it? Mat also studied biology and music, so he has a strangely specific knowledge set that doesn't really apply anywhere other than useless fun facts. He currently works for a music tech start-up in Halifax, and is a big fan of the em dash.

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